Wait, am I reading that correctly… the luckiest generation? You’re probably thinking that the millennial generation is the screwed generation with high student loan debt, stagnating salaries, and other reasons. However, I believe that millennials have tools that weren’t available to previous generations to live better lives. As a millennial, my generation has an uphill battle in some ways, but smart planning can help them prevail in the end. For example, many millennials have substantial student loan debt, averaging around $37,172. This situation can be avoided by using the internet to learn high demand skills like coding and bookkeeping at a low cost. These skills among others can help millennials obtain great careers without high debt loads.
Access to Information
Previous generations had to either go to class or sift through large textbooks to find relevant information. Today, millennials can use platforms like Google, YouTube, and Udemy to learn concepts for free or at a low cost. Fortunately, people can create video tutorials on YouTube to teach others skills like Microsoft excel and language tips. As it’s quite easy to obtain this information quickly, this saves time and frustration. With more efficient processes, the millennial generation will be able to more with less.
These processes could explain why some millennials advocate for a shorter work day. While most people work for 8-9 hours per day, they’re only productive for 3 hours. Some workers waste time on activities like surfing the web, spending time on processes that could be automated, and even looking for new jobs. If this generation is able to use technology to successfully reduce hours spent in the office, it could improve the quality of life. With extra free hours, millennials will have more time to pursue their hobbies, run more errands, and improve relationships.
Improved Race Relationships
In the USA, tomorrow is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which honors the late equal rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. Prior to the 1960’s, different races were segregated from restrooms, buses and schools, resulting in less opportunities. Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights leaders fought for a society in which people would be judged for the content of their character, not by the color of their skin. Luckily, they’ve prevailed and millennials are known as an open minded generation.
For instance, most millennials support LGBT marriage and interracial marriage. This is a large step considering some states banned interracial marriage and homosexuality was once considered a mental disorder. Since millennials are a very accepting generation; this mentality will help different groups feel like a valuable part of society, increasing their opportunities.
Advanced Health Care
Previous generations died quite early, due to diseases like Polio, Small Pox and Malaria. Millennials are lucky because they have access to modern healthcare, which has eradicated these diseases. Millennials are also able to live longer, with access to life saving procedures. For example, cancer death rates have plummeted by 23% in 21 years.
These significant scientific advances have allowed millennials to live longer lives. While some diseases used to be a death sentence, modern technology has allowed sick millennials a second chance on life.
Make More Money from Any Location
People say that millennials are the screwed generation because they have low salaries that don’t keep pace with inflation. Many believe that millennials will never be able to purchase homes due to inflated prices and high down payments. However, this generation is lucky because they can earn money through unconventional methods. For example, the millennial generation can use the gig economy (think lyft, grub hub,)/side hustles to make extra money. With this extra money, millennials can save for down payments and invest for retirement.
Besides the gig economy, some members of the millennial generation have used technology to build businesses and work from anywhere is the world. For example, Sean Ogle was able to use his knowledge of SEO to do consulting from Bali. Mr. Ogle was also able to create info products to help other people do the same. Some workers have remote agreements with their companies and others freelance while traveling the world. By achieving location independence, these workers have the opportunity to become more efficient and experienced through travel.
Saving for Retirement
Some will say that the millennial generation won’t be able to retire due to high debts, high cost of living and inadequate financial knowledge. However, every millennial should learn about the power of compound interest, which helps even small contributions grow over time. Luckily, technology has created many financial platforms like Acorns and Betterment which allows low cost, diversified investing. Acorns is an app that lets users invest spare change from transactions into a low cost, diversified ETF portfolios based on their risk tolerance.
Betterment is a robo advisor that manages a user’s ETF portfolio for small fees. Similar to Acorns, Betterment offers a low cost, diversified, customized ETF portfolio and has other services including re-balancing, tax loss harvesting, and access to investment professionals. These services allow millennials to invest for the future without high pressure sales pitches and high management fees.
While the millennial generation, might seem like the screwed generation, they’re actually the luckiest. They will have some challenges, but these can be overcome with smart, efficient planning. Resources like Google, Udemy, the gig economy, and robo advisers will allow millennials to learn high demand skills, make more money and invest for retirement. Also, this generation will be able to live longer, thanks to advanced medical technology. Advanced medical technology will also give them a higher quality of life. I hope you enjoyed this opinion piece as a break from the standard Spanish Language and culture topics I usually write about.